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How is the Polar Vortex Linked to Climate Change?

Centennial Park as freezing rain falls on February 15, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. Major winter storms have swept across 26 states. Brett Carlsen / Getty Images

For the Central and Eastern United States, this has been a particularly brutal winter. Fargo, North Dakota has seen sub-zero temperatures since February 5, The Washington Post reported, while New York City has gotten hit with around 22 inches of snow since Jan. 31.

And it isn’t letting up any time soon. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts that temperatures in many parts of the lower 48 states will be 25 to 45 degrees below normal through Wednesday and that many places will see record lows before that date. The cold has extended as far south as Texas. Over the weekend and into Monday, an “unprecedented” winter storm has left millions without power in Texas and is creating chaos across a wide path of the central and southern states due to what the National Weather Service has called an “impressive onslaught of wicked wintry weather.”

Climate deniers have often used cold winter weather to argue against the idea that industrial society is heating the planet through the burning of fossil fuels. In one […]

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